Le Grand Tour de la France - le Troisième Jour

Sheila Newton By Sheila Newton, 20th Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3n93rfmm/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>France>The Alps & Jura

Annemasse à Aix en Provence avec un détour à Evian les Bains.

The third day of our grand tour of France takes us from Annemasse, situated in the Haute-Savoie department of the Rhone-Alpes region in the east of France to Aix en Provence, via Evian les Bains on Lake Leman (Lake Geneva), through the extraordinary mountain passes of the Rhone-Alpes region and down to sunny, rural Provence.

Annemasse to Thonon les Bains

Annemasse is situated in the Haute-Savoie department of the Rhone-Alpes region in the east of France, 34 km from Annecy, the department capital.

We'd visited beautiful Annecy on a previous trip. Taking our picnic basket to the edge of Lake Annecy, eating breakfast cereal from plastic bowls, dangling our feet in the cool waters of the lake was a delight I'll always remember. I also have memories of a bright, vibrant town, jam-packed with beautiful buildings and canals; verdant parkland stocked to the brim with shrubs, trees and flowers.

Our mission today was to visit Evian les Bains, passing through Thonon les Bains, both of them famous spa towns.

We had a breakfast stop in Thonon before moving on to Evian. Thonon les Bains is the capital of the area known as Chablais. It is an attractive town, sitting on the edge of Lake Leman (Lake Geneva). It's particularly inviting if you don't want the razzamattaz of towns like Evian.

The town centre sits above the lake and its pleasant port - called Rives - sits on the edge of Lake Leman (Lake Geneva), the biggest lake in Europe.

We stocked up with bottles of spa water from Thonon - and it is deliciously fragrant. We scored for a bargain here, we thought. Much cheaper than Evian water!

Visiting Evian les Bains

Reaching Evian, we motored on a meandering lakeside road with views over Lake Leman of the stunning Swiss mountains and the unbelievable sight of Mont Blanc.

"The summit of Mont Blanc is a thick, perennial ice and snow dome whose thickness varies, so no exact and permanent summit elevation can be determined."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Blanc

Heading for the car park underneath a supermarket, we collected our supplies of fresh food before walking around their famous market place and grabbing a snack lunch at one of the lovely restaurants.

The Cachat spring here is the most famous of the many springs in Evian and is opposite the Cachat pump room. Its fame began when it cured a mysterious illness suffered by the Baron of La Rochette. The waters of Evian are now famous throughout the world.

Heading back down toward the lakeside, we walked along the promenade, watching the ducks and swans gliding along the lake shores; the coots and gulls preening on the rocks. We passed ice cream stalls selling so many flavours of glacé and sorbet, it was difficult to choose which one to have!

We collected conkers from the avenue of Horse Chestnut trees at the lakeside and marvelled at the pines and weeping willows overhanging the blue hues of the water.

Evian les Bains to Aix en Provence

The walk along the lakeside was amazing on this warm, bright blue-skied day, with the lake and views across to Switzerland and the Alps on one side and the Palais Lumiere, the Casino and the Theatre on the other. I could almost imagine the ladies of the early 19th century promenading Evian's quays with their parasols and long flouncy dresses.

Sitting in one of the cafés, looking out over the lake, watching the pleasure boats that run between Evian, Geneva and Lausanne we were loath to leave this lovely place with its charm and its ambience. But leave we had to.

We had a long drive in front of us to get to Aix en Provence - our next port of call. We fed the sparrows with crumbs for a while, watching their antics as they fought over the biggest, tastiest morsels - then it was time to get back in the car, set the Sat Nav for our Formule 1 hotel in Aix en Provence and get back onto the autoroute, through the extraordinary mountain passes of the Rhone-Alpes region and down to sunny, laid-back Provence.

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France

Meet the author

author avatar Sheila Newton
A retired nurse and teacher, with two cats, a husband and a grown up son, I write short stories, articles - and I'm an ardent blogger. Catch up with me on my blog at: http://sheilanewton.blogspot.com

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Comments

author avatar Buzz
21st Nov 2011 (#)

Another article par excellence of your tour of France, dear Sheila. FB-liked.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
21st Nov 2011 (#)

Thanks for doing the Facebook 'like' - I'm touched.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
21st Nov 2011 (#)

Thanks Buzz. And many thanks for liking on Facebook. Are you 'Buzz' on Facebook? I'll have to look you up.

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author avatar Retired
21st Nov 2011 (#)

:-))

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author avatar Sheila Newton
21st Nov 2011 (#)

Smiles back at you!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
21st Nov 2011 (#)

Smiles back at you!

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author avatar nasir khan
4th Dec 2011 (#)

hiiiiiiiii

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author avatar nasir khan
4th Dec 2011 (#)

hi rema nena how are you

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author avatar NEERAJ BHATT
21st Nov 2011 (#)

really , it is a grand article .

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author avatar Sheila Newton
21st Nov 2011 (#)

Thank you. You're a bit GRAND yourself!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
21st Nov 2011 (#)

You're a bit GRAND yourself, Neeraj.

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author avatar richardpeeej
24th Nov 2011 (#)

C'est article est tres bon mon amie ..excuse the French! thanks for sharing this with us, your friends, Sheila ;-)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Nov 2011 (#)

Thanks Richard for spouting some **remarkable** French at me!!!!!!

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author avatar Funom Makama
24th Nov 2011 (#)

Great* Great* Piece. I have had a Euro Tour twice, once with other tourist and the second, on my own, but never been to France. I've heard a lot about France and I hope to be there soon (before 2013). Thanks for the share.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Nov 2011 (#)

Oh, yes, you should go to France, Funom.

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author avatar Retired
27th Nov 2011 (#)

If I need a travel guide I am most certainly going to ask you about. Beautiful.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
27th Nov 2011 (#)

Ah, thank you. That's such a lovely comment.

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author avatar M G Singh
4th Dec 2011 (#)

wonderful ! reminds me of my visits to France.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
4th Dec 2011 (#)

Thanks a lot. It IS a great place to go visit.

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author avatar NEERAJ BHATT
4th Dec 2011 (#)

Beautiful place to visit.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
4th Dec 2011 (#)

Yes it is. Thanks for the comment, my friend.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
5th Dec 2011 (#)

How dreamy and wonderful, thank you Shelia:0)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
5th Dec 2011 (#)

You're welcome, Delicia.

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author avatar Songbird B
23rd Dec 2011 (#)

Just beautiful Sheila! You have the loveliest way of describing these places..Such a joy to read..

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author avatar Tony Barnes
12th Jan 2012 (#)

Great pictures. oh, yeah...great article too. :-)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
12th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Tony. Glad you still love me!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
19th Jan 2012 (#)

Ain't I visiting you Sheila? I visit regularly you see.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
19th Jan 2012 (#)

Ah-ha - so you are my friend. Nice to see your profile pic on my pages.

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